Merchandise Licensing 

Sony enters into kids merchandise space, ropes in BWO to roll-out products

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has decided to enter in to the consumer products and merchandising business.

If a report in the Economic Times is to be believed, SPN has inked a multi-year licensing deal with Mumbai-based brand licensing company Black White Orange Brands (BWO) to explore the portfolio of its kids’ channel: Sony YAY.

The move has been taken to add a new revenue stream to its television broadcasting business and strengthen connection with the young audience.

“Broadcasting is our core business, but we want to create a 360-degree ecosystem which includes consumer products and games as well to connect with our consumers,” Sony YAY’s business head, Leena Lele Dutta, told ET.

As per the partnership, SPN and BWO will roll-out toys and merchandises based on Sony YAY characters such as ‘Guru-Bhole’ and ‘Hunny Bunny’, all of which, are expected to hit the markets in October. Moreover, back-to-school range are slated to release in January next year.

Sony YAY has just completed one year of run with a handful of local properties such as ‘Guru Aur Bhole’ and ‘Sab Jholmaal Hai’. The channel was launched on April 18, 2017 replacing Animax.

When asked about the partnership with BWO, Leena said that Sony YAY is just one-year old and the merchandise business is new for them.

“While we have received great response from the kids and their parents, merchandise is a new business. So, rather than launching a separate division in-house we felt that a robust partner like BWO can help us in rolling out faster,” Leena further added.

With the merchandising growing each-and-every day, experts estimated the official kids’ merchandise space in India at Rs 2,200-2,500 crore and increasing.

Bhavik Vora, founder of BWO Brands, foresees huge potential for SPN’s kids’ merchandise. “We have been in discussion with the Sony team and together we have zeroed in on some great concepts. We will launch with the novelty toys and gifts options, and later get into back to school, apparels and other categories. We can also leverage SPN’s network strength for marketing and promotions, which will make the products a success,” Vora was quoted as saying from ET.

Earlier, rival companies such as Walt Disney (Hungama, Disney Channel, Disney Jr), Turner International (Cartoon Network and Pogo) and Viacom18 (Nick, Nick Junior and Sonic) have already established their niche in the consumer products business.

BWO has exclusive licensing agreements of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Universal Pictures’ properties such Minions, Jurassic World and Jaws; DreamWorks’ Shrek, Kung Fu Panda; Rajamouli’s Baahubali; and Royal Challengers Bangalore cricket team.

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